Tillandsia aeranthos (Air plant) is one of the most beautiful flowering air plants. It has small, scaly, grey-green leaves that form a dense cushion that grows up to 12 inches tall. It produces dark blue flowers and emerges from rosy pink bracts. A blossom sprouts for around seven days. As each blossom in a bloom spike blooms with an interval of a day, the spike turns out to be full bloom and showy in seven days after starting.
Species: T. aeranthos
Scientific Name: Tillandsia aeranthos (Loiseleur) L.B. Smith
Synonyms: Pourretia aeranthos, Anoplophytum aeranthos, Tillandsia dianthoidea, Tillandsia bicolor, Anoplophytum dianthoideum, Anoplophytum roseum, Tillandsia unca, Tillandsia microxiphion.
Common Name: Air plant, Flower of the air.
How to grow and maintain Tillandsia aeranthos (Air plant):
It thrives well in bright light, but not direct sunlight. The south, east, or west window is perfect. They can also be grown under fluorescent tubes.
Tillandsia aeranthos refers to be mounted on a solid substrate that does not retain water. You can glue the plant directly to the surface with a strong adhesive or you can wire the plant to the base. Don’t cover the base of the plant with moss or it may rot. It can be grown on almost any imaginable decorative mount, including shells, rocks, slate, driftwood, etc.
Water two to four times a week with a mister. If your environment is dry, mist daily. Water until leaves is thoroughly wet. The water that runs off should be enough to wet the roots. Do not soak the base of a plant. Use rainwater or filtered tap water for misting your plant. Soft water contains too much salt and some tap water contains chlorine and fluoride that can leave water spots on foliage.
Tillandsia aeranthos thrives well in average room temperatures 60 degrees Fahrenheit – 75 degrees Fahrenheit / 16 degrees Celsius – 24 degrees Celsius.
Fertilize once every month with a low-copper liquid fertilizer, diluted to 1/4 strength.
It can be easily propagated by detaching offsets, or pups, from the base of the mother plant. When the pups are half the size of the mother, they can be divided and mounted on their own. Tillandsia aeranthos can also be grown from seed, but this is a slow process that might take months.